This may turn out to be a rambling blog because this was another frustrating week on the links. Some of it could be blame on the weather but in reality I just plain stunk out the joint, in more ways than one. Here was the basic pattern. I played 54 holes as a single. During these rounds I would come up with something that I thought was some kind of break through to finding ways to score, only to find out they were crap when I tried to play for a few sheckles in a group. The rounds as a single were 76 and 78 at Mt. Lebo. and an 80 at Indian Run. Then with a little on the line I shot 88 at Village Green in some windy cold conditions. Today, in our Sunday foursome, I shot 81 at Ponderosa, under ideal conditions. Today the putter was the culprit that led to the score in the 80’s. I can say in all honesty I only made 2 good strokes with the putter all day. What was amazing that some of my bad strokes miraculously found the hole. My ball striking was good today and there were some good mind body moments, when I was totally in sync.
Here are things that I tried this week, at least the ones I can still remember. Improved address postion, trying to get closer to ball on all shots including putts. Changing my pre shot routine. Going back to an old driver. Changing putters. Standing farther away from the ball on putts. There were other things but frankly I am just trying to forget them and I think I have succeeded.
I am now going to write about two times today, when my mind body connection was right on. These stand out because this may have been the only two times it happened all week. I had about 150 yards in for my third on a par 5. The lie was slightly downhill. It was a perfect 8 iron distance for me. With the downhill lie, I had to aim slightly left of the pin, which put me lining up at the right edge of the left bunker. With complete confidence, I took a solid swing and the ball went slighty right and about 12 feet from the pin. Missed the putt of course. On a par 3 I had 168 to an up front pin. This is a little strong for my 7 iron and a 6 iron is a little too much. I felt if I turned the 7 from right to left this would increase the distance just enough to make it to the green and the pin. I made a great pass at the ball, hit a very nice draw that wound up 20 feet past the pin. Two great examples of the mind body connection being in perfect sync. Now the key will be to be able to do this more than two times per week. This was one of the worst putting days I have had in a long time. Not from the standpoint of the numbers but from not being able to execute the stroke. I had 35 putts and I flinched on 33 of them. That will have to change. The weather does not look too good for the next couple or 3 days so I don’t know how much torture I will be putting my self through this week, and maybe a break is what I need. See you next week.
Back into the Sunday groove for the blog and that is about the only thing that is groovin because the golf game is definitely missing a beat. Took it easy on Monday and Tuesday with the weather not great, and gave the back a little more time to heal. Started playing on Wednesday and shot a miserable 83 at Scenic Valley. Saturday did not get much better with an 80 at South Park and today shot 77 at Rolling Acre the boring way with 14 pars and 4 bogies. This week was a fishing expedition and it was trying to get comfortable over the ball. The putting was bad to awful and although I had some short game moments it was not enough to over come bad play.
Some of the low lights were 22 putts on the back nine of Scenic Valley, hitting lots of fat irons at South Park and some awful high right drives at Rolling Acres. When the ball striking goes as it has over the last 2 rounds it is always a little of a mystery to me because over the last 2 years or so that has been the strongest part of my game. No real progress on the mind body connection only to say that it is disconnected. Hoping to get in the full compliment of play this week, and we will see what happens. Everybody goes through periods of play like this but it still does ease the frustration. To me it is the racing mind syndrome. Even though the game is slow and time between shots can take forever, when it come time to hit the ball the mind is just flying. Sometimes it is thinking about things that are not even pertaining to what you are doing on the golf course. When it gets to this point you hit one inch behind a 50 foot putt and it goes 32 feet. Yes, I did that today. Even though Rolling Acre is not the hardest course in the world and it is pretty wide open, I am still amazed that I shot 4 over par. No new ideas on the horizon but hopefully I will have some kind of inspriration right on the golf course this week.
The blog is again two days late, but for a different reason, just real busy, and Masters watching. The good news or should I say the great news is, my back issue is about 98% better and I played under some beautiful conditions on Saturday and Sunday. While the scores were not that great, with a 77 at South Park, and an 81 at Riverview, which did feature nine’s of 44-37, as I played the last 10 holes one over par. I was pretty much pain free the whole round. Not a lot to report on the mind body connection, as I was just so happy to be back out there, that I think the concentration was not the best. I did do some things, which I will see how they work out this week. The weather has turned nasty again and I may not get out again until Saturday, although tomorrow and Thursday may have some possibilities.
Now I did watch the Masters on Sunday, and I must say that was one of the great driving exibitions that I have ever seen. It goes to show just how powerful a tool of long and STRAIGHT can be. The rest of Bubba’s game was not that great. He putted better on Sunday than he did on Saturday and he made some very clutch putts on the front nine but he certainly did not putt lights out. The driving was spectacular however and that was enough to allow him to cruise home to victory. It was not a particularly exciting Masters but you have to give Bubba his just due, that he played an excellent final round. There is the old saying the Masters doesn’t begin until the back nine on Sunday, but this one was over at the eighth and ninth holes with the four shot swing. Bubbas steady one bogey one birdie back was enough to easily win. Sounds more like a U. S. Open finish than the Masters. The over reaction to Tiger’s record breaking performance has changed the Masters forever, and I don’t think it is for the good. I am not going to go into any great details but here are two facts the Masters committee did not take into consideration when they changed the course in a panic. Tiger only beat the record by one shot and the second place finisher shot shot 282 who was that long bomb driver Tom Kite. Any golf course needs tweaked once in awhile, but what they did to that course makes sure that Tiger’s record will never be broken, and has turned something that was once very special into just another major.
The blog is two days late and I will explain that later, as this was a wild and wooly week. First to the weeks scores. Mt Lebo 9 35 Fort Cherry 84 Mt Lebo 9 38 South Park 76 Scenic Valley 79. Nothing to write home about, although there was some solid play along the way.
I tried a new putting technique this week, which was a dismal failure. In right handed terms I tried a left hand low split grip and I mean a really split grip. I put my left hand at the bottom of the grip near the steel and my right hand at the top of the club. There were two things that I thought were a positive effect of this grip. First it made your shoulders parallel to your intended line and it allowed you to keep your left arm straight during the stroke. I thought this might me a way for me to putt right handed. To make a long story short, it proved to me that putting is close to 100% mental, which in the long run may prove to be helpful. My putting grip contributed heavily to my wonderful 84 at Fort Cherry.
The search on how to get the mind and the body connected may have made some progress this week. When you try to get the mind to control the body is when you get into big trouble. The best way to get control of the body is to give up control of the body. A little Zen-Buddist philosphy thrown in here and I would love to go in to it more and I will,when I am more up to it.
Ah yes, when I am more up to it, which will explain why the blog is two days late. Around Friday through Saturday for some undetermined reason I began to develope lower right back pain. Now I have never had any serious back issues in the past. I had some lower left back issuues that have flared up three times in 38 years but they were always from something I did and never lasted for more than a week and swinging a golf club never seemed to make it worse. Even this lower right back pain did not seem to effect how I could swing a golf club. In fact my Saturday round at the Park was amazing because it was on a blustery cold day. However, at 12:30 am on Sunday I could not get out of bed for 5 minutes the pain was so great. Despite that I did play golf Sunday and could swing relatively well. In hindsight this was probably a mistake. What was weird is that sleeping made it much worse. I was able to go to work on Monday and had a short day today. You never know how important it is to tie your shoes until you cannot do it. Today with rest and finding a way to sleep on my stomach, I am much better about 40%. I am hoping that I will be able to get on the links this weekend. Hopefully I will have something to write about next week and be back on the Sunday blog.